Surrey RCMP Sgt. Winston Shorey was recognized as Police Officer of the Year, as voted by the community, at the Surrey Board of Trade’s annual awards ceremony on Oct. 5.
Shorey works as a district commander for Cloverdale/Port Kells, although he’s currently also overseeing South Surrey and Newton. This is the first time he’s been officially recognized by the community, he said, and “there’s no greater honour.”
“For all the things a person could be nominated for … that would be probably the most important for me,” Shorey said.
“There’s really no better honour than to be nominated by the community that you serve and recognized by that community. That really to me says, ‘I guess I was on target.’”
According to the Surrey Board of Trade’s website, Shorey received the award because he is “a team player that embraces new technology …, [and] works collaboratively with members of the community.”
“His positive outlook on policing and keeping Cloverdale safe is his priority,” the website reads.
According to the Surrey Board of Trade, nominations for the police officer of the year awards from the community are gathered over the summer. Each nomination must include examples of how the nominee has been innovative, shown commitment, contributed to the community, and exhibited perseverance. A judging committee selects their top three nominees, and points are assigned to each nominee. The one with the most points receives the award.
Based on the reasons Shorey was nominated for the award, he said he could tell the nominations came from a variety of sources.
“I work with a lot of different groups and different people,” he said. In the nomination, “there were things I was working on with a particular group, or another group I was working on something different.”
Specifically, Shorey was nominated for his work with Cloverdale BIA in creating the “Heads Up” email chain, where local businesses can share information with the RCMP about suspicious people and behaviour.
He was also commended for working to inform the community about new ways to report crime by promoting the Surrey RCMP’s reporting app.
“For me when that technology came out, it was like ‘Oh, here’s a great technology because now people can use this app on their phone … to take a picture, send a complaint and it goes directly to the people that can deal with it’,” he said.
Shorey distributed pamphlets to local businesses and made sure all the members of his team were trained to use the app. He also introduced the app in his speeches to the Cloverdale Chamber of Commerce and the Cloverdale BIA.
Shorey was also nominated for his involvement in community events, and for his use of social media to inform the public, although that came as a surprise to him.
“I’m not really sure where that came from,” he said.
Most of the RCMP’s social media presence goes through the media unit, which Shorey is not a part of.
“I’m not a big social media guy really,” he said. “I look at social media with a very guarded, kind of jaded opinion.”